Workplace injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of the type of job you have or the industry you work in. If you get hurt on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation, including Temporary Partial Disability benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are designed to help injured workers who can return to work in a limited capacity. If you were injured in a workplace accident, TPD benefits can help you support your family while you recover.
When you apply for workers’ compensation, you may find the process challenging to complete. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at EMP Law can help you navigate the process so that you can improve your chances of receiving benefits. This blog will review the basics of the TPD requirements in North Carolina and how our law firm can help.
What Is Temporary Partial Disability?
Temporary partial disability occurs when you can work after a workplace injury but not at your pre-injury wage level. TPD benefits should cover some of the wage difference resulting from your reduced work function.
When you qualify for TPD benefits, you will receive a workers’ compensation check weekly. The amount should help reduce the difference between your pre-injury income and current earnings.
The typical compensation is 66 2/3% of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wages and post-injury average weekly wage. This amount can vary weekly. The maximum length of time you can receive TPD is 500 weeks.
Qualifications for Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Workers can qualify for TPD if certain conditions exist, including:
- A partial disability due to a work-related injury that affects your ability to work but does not prevent you from working;
- A medical impairment or work restriction that limits your ability to perform your regular job duties;
- Your employer offers suitable work within your physical restrictions; and
- A connection between your reduced earnings and the work-related injury.
In addition, you must notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible after the accident and in writing within 30 days. To begin your claim, you will file Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). You must file this form within two years of the incident, or the NCIC may deny your claim.
Can I Get Partial Disability and Still Work?
Yes. TPD benefits are meant to supplement your income while you are transitioning back to work after an injury or reflect a reduced earning capacity after restrictions become permanent.
You may return to work and continue to be eligible for benefits until you reach 100% of your pre-injury earnings. Under North Carolina law, you may return to work on a trial basis for nine months without affecting your eligibility for permanent disability benefits if the trial is unsuccessful.
In addition, generally, you must accept available suitable employment that fits your work restrictions to retain your benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability Examples
In North Carolina, workers in many industries can receive TPD benefits for workplace injuries. Here are a few examples of scenarios in which an injured employee might seek TPD benefits:
- Construction accident. An employee who works as a construction worker falls from a ladder and injures their leg. As a result, they cannot perform heavy lifting duties but can still perform light-duty tasks.
- Repetitive stress injury. An office worker suffers a shoulder injury from repetitive stress due to using a computer mouse. Although the injury is not severe enough to prevent them from working, it causes them to experience pain and limits their ability to perform certain tasks.
- Farm work injury. A farm worker suffers a back injury while lifting heavy crates of produce. The injury limits their ability to lift heavy objects and perform other physically demanding tasks, but they can still perform lighter duties, such as working with plants.
TPD benefits help injured workers achieve financial security until they return to their pre-injury duties. They also help injured workers avoid long-term financial hardship and remain self-sufficient.
How a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
The attorneys at EMP Law have decades of experience supporting workers’ rights. If you need help filing your claim or have been denied benefits, we can help.
We help employees throughout North Carolina and have offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte. Our attorneys have years of experience working with the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and navigating NCIC’s procedures.
We will work tirelessly to help you fight for the full amount of TPD benefits that you are eligible to receive under North Carolina law. Let us handle your claim so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us online or call (336) 724-2828 today to schedule an initial consultation.